I find events to be one of the most effective strategies to uncover qualified leads. The people who participate choose to come because they’re interested in your topic. You get to share your perspectives and recommendations, highlighting yourself as an expert they want to work with.
The prospects who attend feel as if they know you and want your assistance.
With today’s technology, events are inexpensive to run. But if you’re going to do all the work to create great content with high value, you want to be sure that the people who are interested in it know it’s happening and how to sign up.
You won’t get the number of qualified leads you deserve if only 5 people attend! Here’s where social media can help.
Now I know what you’re thinking. I’ve been there, too. “Social media can’t possibly help me. I don’t have much time for it, don’t do it regularly, and am not connected to that many people.”
I ran an event just last month that had people I’d never heard of before in attendance. They found it from re-tweets of my tweets, comments others had commented on, and our postings across LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. These people weren’t connected to me anywhere. Social networking made it happen.
How? Let me share my strategies with you.
- Post the event details on your website – This is your opportunity to say as much as you’d like about the event, including every fact. Point all your comments back to your website for additional information and registration. Not only do interested readers learn more about the event, now they’re in your website, too.
- Comment and tweet – This goes without saying, but here are a few extras to ponder. People tend to prefer one social network over the others, but no target markets as a whole typically favor one over another. Given this, you want to be sure you talk up your event on every one you use. Comment about it in your LinkedIn status. Discuss it on Facebook. Tweet about it. Carry your comments over the course of days and weeks preceding the event, right up to minutes before it begins.
- Post everywhere – Lots of people don’t realize that you can post events to LinkedIn and Facebook in special “Event” sections. Once you do, people connected to you are notified, and others outside your group see them when they use key word searches. Your network can forward the link on to others in their groups who might be interested, too.
- Use links – as you comment and post, include links to the details on your website. Keep the postings brief and quick to scan. If you’ve hit someone’s hot button, they’ll click through to learn more and sign up. Use a tool like www.bit.ly or www.tinyurl.com to shorten long links.
- Sign-up on LinkedIn – as people from your target segments enroll, shoot them a quick email and ask them to click in LinkedIn that they’re attending. Send them the direct LinkedIn event link to make it simple. Now all their connections see that they’re attending, expanding your message within your target market.
- Leverage your network – ask your top clients and peer network to comment and tweet about the event. Give them brief phrases they can simply copy and paste. Have them note on LinkedIn that they’re interested in attending the event. Your message will reach out into their contacts, further extending your reach even though they aren’t attending.
Once your content is perfected, events are a numbers game. The more interested people from your target market that you can attract to your event, the greater the number of leads. Social networking can get your message out, bringing participants and leads to you!